tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS February 1, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EST
from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. this ancient city is the epicenter of an uprising by the people of this country who say now is the time for a new egypt. and when the man many believe represents the old egypt finally spoke to the people today, it only stoked the fires of rage and resentment. >> we are staying here for one week, two weeks, one month, one year. we won't leave. >> couric: tonight on state television, president hosni mubarak announced he will not seek reelection, effectively ending his 30-year rule of egypt. in a defiant address to the nation, he said he wanted to restore stability and help with a peaceful transition of power. he's also asking parliament to speed up the elections, now scheduled for september. his message-- watched by a massive crowd in cairo's
liberation square. >> it's not enough. he should take it all the way. he has to get out of here. >> we really need this transition because if he left us today, what will we do tomorrow? we don't have food, we don't have anything. >> reporter: the atmosphere here is like a turbo-charged festival. a somewhat raucous display of civilized disobedience and even though the government has shut down the subway, commuter trains and the internet, that has not stopped hundreds of thousands of people from pouring into the heart of cairo. >> we are not terrorists, we are civilized. we never spoke before because we never had a chance to speak about what we really believe. >> there will be another president. we will say no for war between egypt and israel. >> couric: president mubarak survived muplt pl assassination attempts but it appears tonight a relatively peaceful uprising that had been simmering for decades was his political
undoing. and as unrest continues to spread across the arab world, a major shakeup in jordan just 300 miles there cairo. king abdullah the second fired his nation's government and appointed the new prime minister who will select a new cabinet. the preemptive move a response to large protests in the streets of another moderate arab nation. in cairo, a mass exodus of foreigners including thousands of americans anxious to leave the country ending up in airports from at thens to frankfurt. >> it was chaos and very unpleasant. >> couric: but that didn't stop some egyptian nationals like karim, a financial planer who lives in switzerland, from coming to cairo to take part in the most historic moment egypt has seen in his lifetime. >> there's a cost to change, that's what we're paying now, but i would rather we start reforms 20ed than wait 30 years to get a new president.
>> couric: the opposition here in egypt is made up of many factions and many different view points. but they all share one common goal: removing hosni mubarak from power. elizabeth palmer has that part of the story. >> reporter: as these protests have grown bigger, they've grown broader, touching the hopes and dreams of all egyptians. "enough" she says. "it's our right to have change. it's our right to have something new." >> all egyptians, we do not like you. please, mr. mubarak, can you go out? >> reporter: opposition politicians were in the thick of it, too. doctor osma ghazali harb is the head of the liberal democratic front party. >> for the first time in egyptian history from pharaoh till now egypt has a genuine revolution. >> reporter: every religious and political affiliation in egypt is represented in this crowd tonight. now, they're not all natural
alliess, of course, but in this extraordinary moment they are united in a common cause. earlier today, thousands of supporters of the muslim brotherhood swelled the ranks of the protests. it's a banned islamic political party whose fundamentalist i agenda makes the u.s. and the westner vous. but doctor dr. rashad al bayomi says all they and the secular want is democracy. "our youth are willing to die for it" he says "and we'll stand our ground until our demands are met." those demands were spelled out today after an unprecedented joint meeting of all opposition groups. they insist mubarak must step down and leave the country. and then they want a broad coalition to lead a transitional government: new elections, a new constitution, and the disillusion of parliament. mohammed elbaradei, egypt's
elegant career diplomat is a strong candidate smooth it had way for what are sure to be the most difficult negotiations. today he said his goal would be to build a new egypt on the basis of stability and freedom. it's exactly kind of fresh chapter this crowd is demanding but hardly dared believe possible. >> we are going to make our own history. >> reporter: the opposition was blindsided by the president's announcement tonight. they really did think he was going to resign. one opposition leader told cbs news this was a maneuver not a reaction to a revolution. katie? >> couric: meanwhile, liz, has anyone emerged as the opposition leader? >> not yet, and the key thing to watch tomorrow is whether they stay united or whether some break away and say, look, let's accept this, what essentially is a half measure for the sake of peace. >> couric: all right. liz palmer. liz, thank you so much. now, this massive rally that's taking place in liberation
square never could have happened without the implicit blessing of egypt's military and as mark strassmann reports, many people who were moved to participate never imagined themselves as revolutionaries. >> reporter: they're hoping to rewrite egyptian history. revolutionaries like the three nageeb sisters. why is today different? >> because... >> it's now or never. >> it's now or never. >> we have to stand up. >> reporter: stand up and be counted in liberation square's mass rally. layla nageeb, now 23, says crowd size matters. >> morally it matters. the more people in the streets, the more we feel like the more it's going to... a result is going to come. >> reporter: by and large, the faces of this revolt are political and religious moderates, not professional protestors but in many cases educated secular first-time activists. fed up but fired up, too.
ibrahim suleiman and shariff muradeef, different generations, same dream: an end to what muradeef calls living in darkness. >> we don't care who's going to be the next president as long as it's going to be democracy. >> reporter: did you ever think in your lifetime you would see this? >> no, this is the first revolution in the whole history and i've lived to see it. >> reporter: they're trying to oust a dictatorial president with persistence but peaceful protests. part of what has made this such a reasonable revolt is egypt's army. first they promised no rough stuff, then provided a safe space for this revolt to happen. as the security here, soldiers have been calm and not controlling. danny kareed is 24 and jobless. you feel safe here? >> yes, of course. >> reporter: kareed feels less secure about his future the longer mubarak stays. >> i want a job that i can pay all the bills, i can have a good life, i can have a good apartment, get married one day.
>> reporter: the average dreams of average people. in liberation square, this is a revolt for hope. but even the moderates in this crowd seem in no mood to compromise. they want mubarak gone and they want it now. katie? >> couric: mark, are you surprised that, while boisterous, a crowd of this size has been so well behaved? >> reporter: keep in mind these are by and large reasonable people and they're relaxed people because the army has made it possible for them to feel safe as they protest. a new and exhilarating feeling to a lot of these folks. it's also a very well organized crowd. without any central leadership they have organized themselves to check i.d.s, to pick up trash around the area. this is a true grass-roots protest and it seems to have staying power. >> couric: all right, mark strassmann. mark, thanks very much. as we have said, these protests are taking place all over the country-- not just here in cairo. egypt is the size of texas and new mexico combined with a population of more than 80 million people. it's a poor country, about a
fifth of egyptians live on just $2 a day. lara logan is in alexandria tonight, the ancient city on the mediterranean coast and a stronghold of the muslim brotherhood. >> reporter: mubarak wake up, chant it had crowd. thousands of voices rising up in this ancient city founded by alexander the great. today alexandria is the stronghold of egypt's extremist muslim brotherhood. and scene of some of the largest and most violent demonstrations over the past week. but even here this revolution belongs to the people, not the muslim brotherhood. >> they are not the most popular group but they are the most organized ones and we are about to organize ourselves in order to face them in a fair and free election. so please, don't, we will not see a new iran. >> reporter: al amir, a political science graduate working for the u.n. was one of
many professionals in the crowd. >> mubarak has to go! >> reporter: hard hard to imagine anyone could have silenced these people for so long. >> the government thinks that we will stop one day. we will never do that! we are prepared to die. >> reporter: let me ask you a question: will you accept anything from mubarak? >> no! no! (crowd shouts) >> reporter: mere among the crowd in alexandria, you can feel the hatred for the egyptian president. these people are not interested in compromise. they want hosni mubarak to step down. suddenly the protestors erupt. a rumor sweeps the crowd: mubarak is gone. but it's quickly dies, followed by disbelief that the president hasn't yielded to their will. are people surprised that he's still there? >> yes. doesn't he have any dignity?
what egyptian people are saying he don't want. why are you still here? >> reporter: there were clashes here tonight following president mubarak's promise to leave office in september. protestors we spoke to said it's not enough. they want him gone now, not months from now and they called on americans to support them. lara logan, cbs news, alexandria egypt. >> couric: public comments from the obama administration have been measured and diplomatic but privately the message to president mubarak has been blunt and direct. chip reid is at the white house tonight and, chip, what is the administration's main objective and are they achieving it? >> reporter: well, katie is, the number-one objective is an orderly transition to a new and stable government. the last thing that the united states government wants is for the egyptian government to descend into chaos. the fear is that that could lead either in the near future or down the road to some kind of radical islamic government coming to power and that would be very bad news for the united
states. it would also be very bad news for israel and for the middle east peace process and don't forget, whoever controls egypt also controls access to the suez canal, and that is vitally important economically not only to the united states but to countries around the world. but one other thing. the objective of finding an egyptian government that actually responds to and respects the rights of the egyptian people is also something that white house advisors say is very important to this president. it's not just window dressing. it's something he believes in very strongly. back to you, katie. >> couric: i'll be back with more from cairo later in the broadcast. but now let's go to new york where harry smith has the rest of the day's news, including that latest storm that's pounding much of the country. harry? >> smith: that's right, katie. a massive winter storm that's slamming the country from colorado to connecticut. we'll take a look next. of nfl p to put our 24-hour frequent heartburn protection to the test for two weeks.
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to london starts with arthritis pain... and a choice. take tylenol now, and maybe up to 8 in a day. or...choose aleve and 2 pills for a day free of pain. enjoy the flight. >> smith: a monster storm is roaring across the united states tonight. the storm's path stretches 2,500 miles and it could affect more than a hundred million people by the end of tomorrow. weather warnings, watches, and advisories are up across 30 states, and a view from space shows a large section of the country almost entirely blanketed by clouds. on the ground, ice and snow made travel of any kind dangerous. at least five deaths are blamed on the storm so far. we have reports tonight from don
teague in oklahoma city and dean reynolds in chicago. but first, don. don teague, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, harry. downtown oklahoma city looks a bit like a frozen ghost town. the snowplows still haven't come through, most of the city after one of the biggest day snowfalls in this city's history. more than a foot of snow here, 18 inches in parts of oklahoma from this this massive winter storm. across oklahoma, just venturing outside was treacherous. >> the way it is, i don't know, the whole place is going to be shut down. the whole city. >> reporter: with the furiously falling snow came bitter cold temperatures in single digits and whiteout conditions from 50 mile per hour winds. >> my feet are like numb as well as my hands and the rest of my extremities. >> reporter: meteorologists are already calling this the great blizzard of 2011. mill walk ski expecting 16 inches of snow, 13 inches in st. louis and 14 inches in indianapolis. a quarter inch of freezing rain
can down power lines. forecasters say at least that much could accumulate in cities like indiana, columbus, cleveland, and new york city by wednesday. >> this is probably going to be one of the more disruptive storms for the united states as a whole. we're seeing in the last ten to 15 years you've got one heck of a storm. >> reporter: in oklahoma city, firefighters had to help police officers get where they were going. and in dallas, this party tent was supposed to hold a presuper bowl event but it collapsed under snow and ice. the wintery mix constantly falling through the morning rush shut down dallas/fort worth airport for several hours, a scene repeated as the storm marched across the country. don teague, cbs news, oklahoma city. >> reporter: this is dean reynolds in chicago where, if you thought you could escape this storm by flying out of it, you would be seriously mistaken. flora walton made it to o'hare, but nowhere else. >> right now i'm just stuck.
>> reporter: nationally, more than 6,400 flights have been canceled today and at least 3,400 tomorrow. numbers that are sure to go up along with the snow accumulation. even those that took off endured some unusual weather-related routing. a flight from houston to gulfport, mississippi, turned into an 872 mile odyssey over a large swath of arkansas instead of the direct trip 500 miles shorter. on the ground, a veil of ice preceded the snow. in st. louis, cardinal hall of fame speedster lou brock was frozen in place and the blues canceled their hockey game. who could go? >> there's like a sheet of ice all over the road. we hit it at 55 miles an hour and cars were just flying through the ditches. >> reporter: in omaha snowplows, in chicago salt trucks and in st. louis power rigs were all on the prowl all day. but there was little they could do against another factor in this mess:: as the winds have
picked up, the windchills have gone down. in chicago, they made a 24-degree thermometer reading feel like eight. >> summer! >> reporter: and that's just the start. the national weather service says there's a 100% chance of ice, snow, or rain tonight from omaha to philadelphia. so things are going to get a lot worse, harry. >> smith: dean, that's quite a picture. dare i ask how much worse is it expected to get there in chicago and the rest of the midwest? >> reporter: well, in missouri they've called out the national guard and they're importing utility crews from michigan to help them with their icing problem. here in chicago we're expecting three inches of snow an hour and blizzard-like winds which i'm experiencing personally right now. >> smith: we can see that. dean reynolds, thank you very much. despite the nasty weather, here in new york it was a very good day on wall street. strong corporate earnings reports helped send the dow up 148 points. it closed above 12,000 for the first time in more than two and
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egyptians he won't run for reelection later this year and wants to oversee a smooth transition of power. but a huge crowd of protestors remains here in liberation square tonight. they want mubarak out now and they say they're not leaving until he does. so the standoff goes on and our coverage of it will continue. that is the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric in cairo, egypt. thank you for watching. i'll see you tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
now, "entertainment tonight," the most watched entertainment news magazine in the world. breaking news. halle berry's custody battle. >> her heated fight against her ex. is her daughter's well being in danger. >> i'm a home body. >> the latest news before you see generaler er jennifer on o. >> they were serving